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Speaking French at Work

Speaking French at work and school doesn't have to be complicated. Whether you’re looking for a job in a French-speaking country or just need to talk with coworkers there, you'll need to know some key words and phrases to help ease your way.

Use the following words to describe typical office equipment and supplies.

un stylo (pen)
un crayon (pencil)
un bureau (desk)
une chaise (chair)
un ordinateur (computer)
un écran (screen)
un clavier (keyboard)
une souris (mouse)
une clef USB (USB key)
un carnet (notebook)
un site Internet (Web site)
un courrier électronique (e‑mail)

You’ll need to know the following words when scheduling meetings.

un entretien (interview)
une échéance (deadline)
l’ordre du jour (agenda)
un compte-rendu (minutes)
un agenda (appointment book)
un rendez-vous (appointment)

There are many ways to refer to other people you work with. Whether you refer to your coworkers by the department they work in or their job title, the following words will come in handy in most business settings.

ventes (sales)
marketing (marketing)
finance (finance)
comptabilité (accounting)
ressources humaines (human resources)
département juridique (legal)
recherche et développement (research and development)
support technique (technical support)
secrétaire (assistant; secretary)
président directeur général (PDG) (chief executive officer)
directeur financier (chief financial officer)
directeur/directrice [m/f] (manager)
surveillant/surveillante [m/f] (supervisor)
coordinateur/coordinatrice [m/f] (coordinator)

Try putting some of these terms together into some phrases that might come in handy at the office.

  • Nous allons avoir conférence par telephone à quatorze heures. (We’re going to have a conference call at 2:00.)

  • Pouvons-nous prévoir la réunion pour dix heures mercredi matin? (Can we schedule the meeting for 10:00 Wednesday morning?)

  • Puis-je emprunter un stylo et un bloc-notes? (May I borrow a pen and a notepad?)

  • L’imprimante ne fonctionne pas. (The printer isn’t working.)

  • Envoyez-moi un courrier électronique. (Send me an e‑mail. [formal])

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